The Parasite

By Jake Kale

Mark Lewis was dying.

He was just twenty-four years old, but already his body had suffered more abuse than it could take. The relentless ingestion of narcotic substances to dull the mental and physical pain had poisoned his system beyond all hope of recovery—his breathing had slowed, and he had long since lost consciousness. Within minutes his already faint life-force would be spent.

And the parasite would have to find a new host.

The parasite was all too aware that it had caused this. Its kind had evolved to target their hosts in a specific manner, to suppress the production of certain neurotransmitters in such a way as to stimulate the depression, paranoia and hatred they fed on. It required great skill to manipulate the host’s mind enough to feed yet not so much that it was injured or caused itself injury. It was a delicate balance, and it was all too easy to become greedy. And that’s exactly what the parasite had done—it had become greedy. It had pushed Mark Lewis’s mind and body too far much too quickly. It had driven him to despair, and to inflict psychological and bodily harm on himself and others. And while the parasite itself was immune to these things, its host was not. It had finally driven him to death, all that potential for nought, leaving behind a devastated family, a devoted if foolish girlfriend, and an unborn child.

The parasite felt no guilt. This was the nature of things, and the parasite knew better than to fight nature.

Mark Lewis had stopped breathing, and the parasite prepared itself for his death. While it had become used to it, the act of leaving one’s host and re-entering the outside world was always a difficult transition. It was worse if it had been with the host for longer—after an extended period of time living in tandem with another being it was common to lose yourself within them, to actually come to believe that you are one and the same. But that was the goal. To be as one with the host. To work in tandem with it, to instigate and prolong its suffering in order to feed.

As Mark Lewis’s brain died, the parasite swore that next time it would pace itself. Next time it would be sure to truly savour its host.

The end came within seconds, and the parasite knew it needed to leave. Summoning all of its strength, it tore itself free of its former host’s deceased mind, and the agony was exquisite. All too suddenly the limited world of three dimensions melted away as the parasite pulled away from Mark Lewis’s body and went back to the Source. It struggled to orientate itself, specialized sense organs that had lay dormant for twenty-four years reawakening. In this place all levels of reality converged and coexisted, and the parasite had its pick of new hosts from any point in time and space. However, it had already made its choice.

It hoped Mark Lewis’s child lived longer than its father had.

Creative Commons Licence
The Parasite by Jake Kale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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3 thoughts on “The Parasite

  1. The idea for this one has been swimming around in my head for a while now, and I had considered trying to work it into a larger storyline. But I think it works better as a one-shot, so here it is. This is the shortest story I’ve written so far, but I’m quite happy with it.

    Jake

  2. Another good one. Interesting to see how you handled the exit of the parasite from the host. Sufficient jeopardy built up in advance, but then the transition very quickly dealt with to get to the punchline. Kept up the pace and minimised distractions.
    I wonder, I have you ever seen the Denzel Washington film Fallen? Some similar themes.

    • Haven’t seen that film, no. I’ll have to check it out. I should point out, though, that the Parasite in the story is not intended to be a demon or anything like that, though the similarities of obviously there. If anything, it’s more my own warped take on the concept of the soul. I still think there’s scope to expand this idea, though I’m hesitant to go into to much detail on that at the moment. Something for the future, maybe.

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